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Argumentum ad populum

September 25th, 2009

Argumentum ad populum

classification : informal – informal fallacy of defective induction

(literally, an argument to the people) is the logical fallacy that just because something is popular, it is therefore true. Undoubtedly many popular notions are true, but their truth is not a function of their popularity.

This logical fallacy is often used by children as an excuse for wanting something (everybody’s got one), or doing something (everybody’s doing it). Despite the juvenile nature of the argument, it is often used by people who should know better, particularly by those who are trying to force other people to their way of thinking.

Included Fallacies

Appeal to the masses
Appeal to belief
Appeal to the majority
Appeal to the people
Argument by consensus
Authority of the many
Bandwagon fallacy

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Categories: Logic